Skip to comments.Don’t Blame the Border Crisis on a ‘Bush-era’ Law: Obama's Hands are Not Tied By It
Posted on 07/11/2014 7:39:51 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The surge of Central American families and unaccompanied children into south Texas has focused public attention on one of the few recent revisions of immigration law, the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, or TVPRA, also known as the Wilberforce Act. Championed by congressional Democrats such as Senator Dianne Feinstein, the law was a hastily written attempt to improve the handling of trafficked children who came into the custody of immigration authorities, either at the border or within the country.
In the face of public alarm over the Obama administrations massive catch-and-release operation dispersing tens of thousands of illegal border crossers from Central America to cities and towns across the land, and very strong indications that these very policies are the main force driving the surge, President Obama and his allies have sought to deflect the blame on to this Bush-era law, claiming that it has tied their hands. They maintain that because of the law, we have no choice but to take in the kids, reunite them with their families, provide them with lawyers to help them make a claim for legal status, and provide health care and other services while they await a decision.
To be sure, the Wilberforce Act could stand some tweaking. It complicates the processing of apprehended illegal-alien children from countries other than Mexico in ways that are easy for the immigration-advocacy industry to exploit, and it has proven to be very costly to administer.
But this law is not the main problem. Even if this Congress could agree on a fix, the effort would only distract from the larger issue of inadequate enforcement generally. It can be reasonably argued that most of the new illegal arrivals including many of the children are not even covered by the Wilberforce Act, since they were not victims of trafficking and are no longer unaccompanied after being reunited with their families.
The Wilberforce Act was aimed at protecting children who were victims of severe forms of human trafficking. Many of the kids in this surge were not trafficked at all, but crossed with their parents and are considered part of a family unit. The government has been cagey about the exact number of family units taken into custody, and about the number of children in those families. Department of Homeland Security officials have said that between October and June the Border Patrol had apprehended 39,000 adults traveling with an unspecified number of children. The number of unaccompanied children apprehended as of mid June was 52,000.
In a trafficking situation, the child is a victim and an involuntary commodity being moved across the border for an illegal purpose such as servitude or prostitution. But a leaked Immigration and Customs Enforcement intelligence report confirms that most of the children who arrive unaccompanied are smuggled, not trafficked: Unaccompanied children are typically smuggled to the United States by human smuggling networks through established routes . . . the fees for which are most likely paid for by [their] family members residing in the United States. The smuggling is a deplorable scenario, but it is not the same thing as trafficking.
The same ICE report reveals that about 43 percent of the unaccompanied minors are reunited with a parent soon after arriving in the United States. Under the law, an unaccompanied child is defined as one who is under the age of 18 and without a parent or legal guardian in the United States to care for him. It can reasonably be argued that upon reunification, the child should again be considered part of a family unit. That means if the custodial parents were to be deported, it would be in the best interests of the child to accompany them back to their homeland.
Even Senator Feinstein thinks that the president has more leeway under the Wilberforce Act than hes using: That law already provides the administration with flexibility to accelerate the judicial process in times of crisis, she told the New York Times. The administration should use that flexibility to speed up the system while still treating these children humanely, with compassion and respect.
Its interesting how Mr. Obama and his team feel so constrained by the law in this instance, when they have found so many clever ways to exercise discretion in implementing other parts of the immigration law.
Its possible to balance our obligations to protect genuine victims of trafficking and other abused children with our need to control immigration. Lawmakers should recognize that once again it is the presidents interpretation of the law that is the problem, not the law itself. With that in mind, Congress should direct any supplemental funding for the crisis to support proper enforcement, rather than bail out disastrous policies.
Jessica Vaughan is director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies.
Please. Obama only obeys the laws when it is expedient.
Good find, Thanks!
All lies. We all know this current border crisis is all Bush’s fault.
Obama only obeys laws that further his agenda. Any law that does not further his agenda is disregarded.
Question: How are people from Central America getting to the US/Mexico border? My understanding of the SOUTHERN border of Mexico is that it is nearly impossible to into Mexico through their southern boarder. To get from Central America to the US/Mexican border on land you have to go through Mexico. Is the Obama administration transporting these kids from Central America to the US?
It appears Mexico is intentionally letting them through.
And here (excerpted) is the UN's definition of Trafficking (Link):
What is Human Trafficking?Clearly the MSM and the GOPe know (even if just by the title) that the 2008 Bush law applies only to "trafficking."
Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs
Elements of human trafficking
On the basis of the definition given in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, it is evident that trafficking in persons has three constituent elements;
The Act (What is done)
Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons
The Means (How it is done)
Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim
The Purpose (Why it is done)
For the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs.
To ascertain whether a particular circumstance constitutes trafficking in persons, consider the definition of trafficking in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the constituent elements of the offense, as defined by relevant domestic legislation.
And clearly the MSM and the GOPe know the legal and international meaning of "trafficking."
And clearly the illegal entry of virtually all of the foreign invaders the Obama regime is "aiding and abetting" fail to meet at least the last two required elements of "trafficking."
Therefore, The GOPe & MSM are clearly collaborating with the Obama regime to allow this invasion to continue!
And here (excerpted) is the UN's definition of Trafficking (Link):
Rick Perry is higher on my fed-up-with-it list than even Obama. Why?....he was handed an opportunity on a silver platter and he blew it. After the Perry-Obama meeting, when Obama went to eat TX barbecue, Perry should've gone to the State House and called up the National Guard to the border.
Funny you should ask.
What they did essentially amounts to an act of war against the United States. And it is inconceivable that they would've done it without the connivance and full support of the Obama administration. Clearly, Mexico and Guatemala have received assurances that there will be no penalties forthcoming. Indeed, there is doubtless a reward.
Proof positive our own government is at war with us.